Jaime Murray talked about “Dexter”, working with Julie Benz and playing a vampire in her latest straight-to-video horror sequel “Fright Night 2: New Blood” at Comic-Con 2013. You can read the interview below. For more details about “Fright Night 2: New Blood” click here.
I’m sure you get this a lot but obviously, I’m a big fan of yours from “Dexter.”
Aw, thank you.
You ever get sick of that? Are you just like, “Oh, ‘Dexter’ again?”
No. It was just such a great show to be on and you know, it was one of my first jobs when I got to America, Los Angeles, and it was a great welcome into the industry here. You know, I became great friends with Michael [C.Hall]. Julie Benz, I was her bridesmaid last year.
She’s on “Defiance” with me now, another show we’re shooting now so you know, it was a life-changing job in so many ways but also just great TV, too.
I feel bad because I haven’t seen Fright Night 2, yet. I guess no one really has. Is this a remake of Fright Night 2, or is it going in a different direction from the original Fright Night 2?
Well, did you see the one with Colin Farrell?
I did see the one with Colin Farrell.
They’re all part of the same franchise but this is a continuation of the one with Colin, and I reprise the role of Jerry, which was played by Colin and obviously, I’m a woman which brings all sorts of other elements to the piece. We shot it on location, in Romania. We went out to Transylvania, which is an unbeatable backdrop for a vampire film, obviously. We had some amazing locations, some amazing castles and it was pretty creepy to shoot.
Now, are you playing the same character or his twin sister?
I’m playing… Obviously, these vampires are very, very old and we reprise the story. I may have been Elizabeth Bathory. I don’t know if you know anything about her.
I am well aware of Elizabeth Bathory.
So, I’m probably one of the oldest and most powerful vampires and I come back to Transylvania and Romania, because I need the blood of a virgin.
Don’t we all?
If there are Elizabeth Bathory allusions, does that lead to perhaps a rather obvious bathing sequence?
Oh yes. There’s a wonderful, beautiful, epic bath scene. Well, there are many bath scenes, actually.
Again, as well there should be.
I feel like I’m destined to be in a bath. I’m in a bath quite a lot in “Defiance,” as well. At the end, there is a true bloodbath and that took about a week to shoot. We were in the blood for a week.
Oh dear. Was it Karo Syrup?
Yes, it was!
That must’ve been really uncomfortable.
Really sticky. We were filming in November… No, December. Late December, in Romania, in the snow and so you can imagine. In fact, the first day, we didn’t get the temperature right and Sacha Parkinson, who played Amy, and I… That was our first day getting into the water. I just wanted to finish the scene, I just wanted to finish the scene but they said they had to stop it because I was going into hypothermia. My mouth was chattering so much that they could see it on camera and I was like, “Can we just have one more take?”, and they were like, “No. You’ve got to get out the bath.”
“You’re going to have to do this again.”
Exactly. I was like, “Surely, blood would be warm.”
You’d think that.
One would think.
Okay, so I imagine it’s thick, sticky, gross Karo Syrup.
Oh yeah. I think there may have been fungus growing in it, at the end. Flies. It was wonderful.
Does that give you some freedom? You can wear like, a skin suit underneath or something like that?
No? Well, I admire your dedication. Are you method? Did you ask for real blood?
It was interesting, you know, I actually studied at a method acting school in the UK… Drama Centre, which is known in the business as “Trauma Centre”. That’s how method it is but I actually studied Meisner, which I love. So, I don’t know if I consider myself a method actor but I must say, which surprised me about this because there is a lightness to Fright Night. It’s horror, coupled with comedic moments, which is a really interesting balance to get. You’ve got to get it right, otherwise it’s neither scary or funny. So, you’ve really got to get that balance right and I think that they did really, really well. Obviously, some characters bring humor to it more than others. My vampire’s very charismatic and charming, which is kind of funny in moments, on its own. What surprised me was that in order for me to go there, even though I don’t consider myself “method” method, I kind of felt a bit icky at the end of the day. I wasn’t sleeping particularly well. I felt pretty grubby. It was probably part of the sticky bloodbath, as well.
You know, I talk to a lot of people who play a lot horror villains, and in real life, they are the nicest human beings. I wonder if that’s like a defense mechanism in some way because otherwise, they’d go mad.
Well, it’s interesting because I have played some very complex villains. Whenever I meet people, they’re like, “Oh my god. You’re so sweet,” and “You’re so this,” or “You’re so that.” I am drawn to complex characters but I’m not sure why I get those characters, or whether it’s, I don’t know, a commitment or generosity of spirit that I’m willing to go there and put it away. I don’t know.
You also have to have sympathy for those characters, too.
I have immense sympathy and that’s one thing I would say about this vampire is… You know, awful people, they never think that what they’re doing is awful. They think that it is what they have to do and she does feel… Gerri, my vampire does feel that she is justified, that it’s the only course of action for her and there are moments where she almost feels sympathy, or sorry. She doesn’t really have empathy. Vampiric people don’t really have empathy. They’re true narcissists, psychopaths, but I think sometimes she feels almost affection for her victims, which is even creepier, more wonderful to play. And you know, whenever I play dark characters, the only way that I can go there with any kind of conviction or weight is to kind of think about how they got there and that’s always pitiful, thinking about the choices that people make and the justifications they make to do really bad things, so that’s interesting to me as an actor.
In the last Fright Night, we didn’t really get to know about Jerry, the vampire. We didn’t get to know about his past.
I feel as though you do, a little bit more, in this one. There was one scene in particular, where… I think there might even be moments where you sympathize with her in like, her creepy twistedness. I don’t know. I mean, I’m biased. I always say, “When you’re playing bad characters, you can never judge them as bad. You have to be the best lawyer you can be for that character.” Otherwise, it just doesn’t work so I’m always biased. Sometimes, I’ll play characters, and I did it with Lila on “Dexter” and I couldn’t believe the vitriolic hate people had towards this character. I was like, “She was so damaged!” But you know, I had to go there. I had to feel compassion for that woman in order to play her.
For the rest of the interview go to CraveOnline.com